Sandtoft trolleybus museum reopens

Volunteers who maintain the world’s largest collection of trolleybuses welcomed back visitors for the first time in 18 months last weekend.

The Trolleybus Museum, at Sandtoft, near Doncaster, has been closed since November 2019, as Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

It reopened on May 30 and around 150 people visited the museum to see a unique collection of around 70 trolleybuses and motorbuses.

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The popular museum is on an eight-acre site in North Lincolnshire which was once home to the RAF Sandtoft airbase. The attraction opened in the late 1960s when trolleybus networks around the UK were being shut down.

Volunteer Ian Brown, takes time out from sweeping in the holding shed and rests against a Wellington TB 82 Trolleybus from New Zealand.

A trolleybus is a normal-sized bus that is powered by electricity collected from two special overhead wires suspended above the road using a pair of poles.

The vehicles were once used by passengers in towns and cities across the country.

Many of the museum vehicles are still in working order and visitors can take a ride in them. Most are from the UK but there are a few from cities, such as Marseille, Porto, Wellington and Johannesburg.

Dozens of museum volunteers work to maintain the vehicles.

Stewart David, Director & Chief Operating Officer, said: “We did try and open last year, in the summer, but we just couldn’t get enough people because you need a minimum of about 25 volunteers to run the site on a public open day and with the Covid restrictions, we were required to bring in about another 10 to help with the extra cleaning.

“It was pretty good to have people back last weekend, we had a reasonable turnout.

“I would say there were around 150 people down, but we can’t have a huge number of people there at the moment because we still have some Covid restrictions in place.”

The museum is usually open to the public around 32 days a year, between Easter and November.

It is reliant on fees, paid by around 500 loyal members, but it also regularly receives income from visitors and also some generous donations.